How Your Employees Can Help Create Future Benefits

Building a benefits package to help entice new employees along with retaining who you already have can always be on the mind of a craft brewery owner. Being commonplace benefits or outside-the-box ideas, constantly striving to be better for your team is vital.

For New Orleans’ Urban South, co-founders Courtney and Jacob Landry shared that they have implemented annual performance reviews with staff members.

“In those conversations, we have an honest conversation about what would [they] need to stay,” Courtney said. “What makes this a company (you want) to work for the long term?

“We’ve seen an evolution and some of the answers to those questions.”

Initially, she said, it seemed like employees really were focused most on their yearly salary.

“But as they’ve been with the company, and salaries have kind of risen, there was more interest in the 401k matching,” she said. Up until recently, Urban South contributed 65% to the employee’s premiums for healthcare costs along with paid time off. ​They offered 401k ​early on ​but weren’t able to do any kind of matching.​ ​Around the start of 2021, the brewery was able to introduce some bonuses that were tied to overall company volume.

“This year, we decided to go ahead and go whole hog into the 401(k) match as well as a profit share for employees,” ​Jacob Landry said. Starting in January 2022 all employees​,​ after working there for one year, will be eligible for both of those.

​”That specific example of us adding that this year was a result of just what employees were saying was important​,” Courtney said. ​”​And that feeling like this is something that would make working at Urban South for a long time really meaningful to me.

​”​I felt like that was an example and a recent change that came directly from people on the team.​”​

3 Daughters Brewing‘s management meetings are the source of a lot of outside-the-box thinking as well said the company’s VP of Marketing and Sales, Brian Horne.

READ MORE: Dealing with ​Human Resources Issues

“Our owner [Mike Garting], every meeting we have is always asking us for a good idea,” Horne said. “To be honest with you, he comes up with a good proportion of them. But he asks us every month to come up with different things.

“He really challenges us all the time to come up with something that the team really needs.”

This past Christmas as a bonus they got everybody gift cards specifically for each kind of person and where they’d like to go.

“Then we had a big Christmas party and gave everyone little gift baskets and stuff like that,” he said of these little additions. “It’s little things. We really try every month to come up with different things that we can do for them.

“We do something we call random acts of kindness. So if somebody does something, for another person, that’s really cool, mostly for either internal or for guests, we reward them with something very special and just kind of do a little thing for them and make sure that we appreciate them taking care of somebody else.”

To gather more insights, Urban South also did an anonymous employee survey​ last year and with a new​ part of the ​brewery’s ​​online ​HR ​package, ​they can do some regular surveys​ as well.

​”Those have also been really helpful ​in informing how we approach and how we really try to maintain some high employee satisfaction​,” Jacob said.​

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